The Sunday Class
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Taught/practised on:
2012 January 8 th
Tune: The Reel of the Gordon Highlanders, by Pipe-Major Stuart D. Samson. Alexander, 4th Duke of Gordon  (nicknamed the Cock o' the North), had raised several regiments for service in Scotland during the 1780s and early 1790s.  With the growing threat of war with France, he obtained a Royal Warrant to raise a regular regiment of 1000 men in February, 1794.  Since many of the men from his own lands had joined the Gordon Fencibles just a year before, he faced serious recruiting problems. Enter the Duchess Jean.  Known as one of the most beautiful women in the North East, she and her equally pretty daughters, all dressed in regimental jackets and feather bonnets, travelled to fairs throughout the North East offering the normal first day's pay plus the added incentive of a kiss.  One particularly fine young man had long resisted recruiters' enticements.  When the Duchess Jean came to town, he enlisted, taking the pay and the kiss ..... then tossed the pay to the assembled crowd to show which had really attracted his interest.  Another young man enlisted, took his kiss, then promptly 'paid smart' (a fee paid within 24 hours of enlistment which allowed a recruit out of his commitment), saying 'Never was a £1 coin so well spent!' (The Duchess Tree remembers the same Duchess under a lime tree in the grounds of Gordon Castle at Fochabers encouraging the volunteers!) With the Duchess Jean's help, as well as recruiting efforts from as far away as the Hebrides, the regiment was quickly assembled.  On the 24th June, 1794 the newly embodied regiment was paraded for the first time at Aberdeen, under the command of Gordon’s son, the Marquess of Huntly, when they wore the then almost new, and now famous, tartan which had been devised by Forsythe of Huntly. Forsythe had taken the standard plaid and woven in a yellow stripe, which, as he wrote to Lord Huntly, he trusted would appear "very lively". It was at Gibraltar that the regiment received their first colours and soon afterwards they were in Ireland making the acquaintance of Major-General John Moore with whom they were to serve on many historic occasions. At Corunna, at the end of the great retreat, the regiment had a prominent place at the funeral of their distinguished commander and it is in Sir John Moore’s memory that black buttons are worn on the spats.
THE REEL OF THE GORDON HIGHLANDERS (R8x32)   Aad L M Boode (1994)  Delft Book of SCDs  1- 8 1s cross RH, cast 1 place & dance ½ Figs of 8 (Lady round 2s & Man round 3s) to end 2 nd  place on own sides  9-16 1s dance reels of 3 on sides giving LSh to 3 rd  corner & ending in diagonal line RH joined & LH to 3 rd  corners 17-24 1s dance the Spoke - Balance-in-Line, 1s move clockwise to 2 nd  corner, repeat with 1 st  corner & 4 th  corner, 1s ending in 2 nd  place 25-32 2s+1s+3s circle 6H round & back The Spoke: Everyone is dancing for 8 pas de basque steps. Only 1 st  couple move round, the other dancers set diagonally across the set when hands are not joined diagonally and 1 st  couple retain partner's RIGHT hand throughout. Bar 1 - balance in line with partner's 1 st  corner Bar 2 - move on a ¼ turn clockwise Bar 3 - balance in line with 2 nd  corner Bar 4 - move on a ¼ turn clockwise  etc. Bar 7 - balance in line with partner's 2 nd  corner Bar 8 - 1 st  couple drop hands and dance into 2 nd  place own sides, using skip change of step if preferred